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Sarclet, General

Village (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Sarclet, General

Classification Village (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 9009

Site Number ND34SW 123

NGR ND 3482 4352

NGR Description Centred ND 3482 4352

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Wick
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Caithness
  • Former County Caithness

Archaeology Notes

ND34SW 123 centred 3482 3522

Sarclet village is situated at the top of a steep, narrow cove immediately NW of Sarclet harbour (ND34SE 2); both the planned village and the harbour were established as a herring port in the early 19th century by David Brodie of Hopeville (Beaton 1996, 24). It is likely that there was some form of pre-existing settlement in the vicinity, but there is nothing visible to indicate that any of the surviving buildings date earlier than the 19th century. The village takes the form of a linear settlement of crofts and small steadings fronting onto a single street, with their narrow plots of ground stretching some 315m to the rear. From map evidence and the surviving remains, the steadings appear to have comprised simple ranges that would have contained a dwelling with a byre and/or stable. The village is depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 6-inch map (Caithness 1876, sheet xxx), which shows nine crofts disposed on either side of the street, eighteen in all. At the SE end of the street, however, there is a crescentic disposition of six buildings facing the sea (three to either side of the axis of the main street).

Only one of the steadings is shown unroofed on the 2nd edition of the map (1907, sheet xxx), but by then four of the buildings in the crescent appear to have been completely removed. Of the twenty-two roofed buildings depicted on the 1st edition of the map, twelve have been completely removed, one is a ruin, and nine are still roofed, either having been extensively modernised or converted to other uses, such as sheds. The ruined building (YARROWS04 540) stands towards the NW end of the main street, on its NE side. It is a two-compartment range measuring 17.3m from NW to SE by 4.6m transversely over walls 0.6m in thickness and still standing to wall-head height. The SE compartment was a dwelling with a central entrance and flanking windows in the SW side and fireplaces in both ends at ground-floor level. The NW compartment contained a byre or a stable and has two doorways in its SW side; the roof timbers are presently stacked against its NW gable.

(YARROWS04 540)

Visited by RCAHMS (JRS, IF) 29 July 2004


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